Glossary

This is the Rainbow unofficial glossary. if you have better descriptions for these terms and/or add additions to this list and/or history behind these words. Please make sure to suggest an edit . As these are not official definitions, but what some have come to interpret these terms to mean. If you know of other meanings for any of these terms we would be glad to hear them and make them available for other people as well.


"A" Camp
Alcohol Camp. A place where chronic alcohol drinkers congregate and drink, usually on the perimeter of a Gathering.

Alcohol Hat
"A" Camp money collection. Used to buy alcoholic beverages.

All Ways Free
Rainbow Family Newspaper.

Babylon
The world outside of the Gathering. `Mainstream' or `mainline' society; the `straight' world (From the Book of Revelations, via Rastafari).

Barter Lane
A place at a Gathering where people congregate to trade crafts, camping supplies, books, etc. Same as "Trade Circle" in function, but linear instead of circular in topography.

Beanbow
Boston Rainbow Family Picnic.

Blissing Out
Sitting around or wandering around, enjoying the Gathering, in a carefree state.

Blissninny
A person at a Rainbow Gathering who does not contribute much work; overly spiritual and out of touch with the physical realities and demands of the environment.

Bus Village
A large camp of live-in vehicles. Usually located a good distance from the central gathering area, as bus village must be accessible to vehicle.

Business Council
A council convened to deal with gathering logistics, family policy and other organizational concerns.

C.A.L.M.
(Formerly M.A.S.H.) Center(s) for Alternative Medicine. The Rainbow Healing Unit. Grew from first aide to a comprehensive medical unit.

Conch
A univalve shell, usually Cassia sp., with a hole cut in the tip. Blowing through the hole makes a mellow sound to call people together for Councils, meals, workshops, meetings, etc. The practice is part of the Family's self-conscious primitivism.

Consense
To agree by consensus.

Council (n)
Any group of Rainbows meeting to make a decision. Usually refers to the Council which meets between July 1 - 7 at N.A. Gatherings.

Council (v)
To meet as a group with the aim of reaching consensus on a given topic.

Dived (a)
Pertaining to an item retrieved from a garbage dumpster.

Dog
Short for Road Dog.

Dogging It
Living the life of a Road Dog.

Downtown
Rainbow The congested central area of a Rainbow Gathering.

Drainbow
A person who demands a lot from the Gathering and does not return anything.

Drugs
Unhealthy habit forming substances ranging from sugar to crack.

Dumpster Diving
The act of retrieving food or other goods from a garbage dumpster.

Dumpster Score
An item or group of items retrieved from a dumpster.

Earlies
Someone who has been to many Gatherings and is supposedly knowledgeable about the Family.

Facilitate
To take responsibility for making sure a given task is accomplished.

Facilitator
A person who has taken responsibility to make sure that a given task is accomplished.

Faerie
A homosexual male Rainbow.

Focalize
To organize a project

Focalizer
A volunteer responsible to serve as a conduit for Rainbow Family information to both Family members away from the Gatherings and to the public; also responsible for overseeing the organization and publicity for local area Rainbow Family events.

Focus (v)
Pay attention to, or respect, the speaker or council procedures.

Free Box
An box where Rainbows leave unwanted or surplus possessions so that those who need them can pick them up gratis.

Front Gate
The main entrance to the Gathering.

Fuck You
"A" Camp greeting used like "Hello."

Full Ride
Staying at the Gathering from the start of Seed Camp through the end of Clean-Up.

Gate Crew
The people who work at the Front Gate, welcoming people and delivering the `Rap 107' spiel.

Gatekeeper
A person who stands on the perimeter of the Council circle, advising late arrivals as to what has been discussed and what is currently being discussed, what consensus decisions have already been made, etc.

Green Energy
Money

Ground score
An item that is found on the ground.

Gypsy
A Rainbow who lives on the road, constantly traveling.

Habit Hat
A money collection for purchasing coffee, tobacco, sugar etc. to satisfy addictions.

Happy Trails
A common goodbye to people leaving the Gathering. From the signature sign-off song of the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans television "Western" of the 1950's.

Harmonize
To enter into peaceful harmony with people or the environment.

Harrassle
Harassment and hassles of Rainbows by government agencies and the police.

Heartsong
Personal feelings, emotions, observations and visions as articulated at Gatherings.

High Holy
Rainbow Same as `High Holy Hippie' but is specific to Rainbow Family.

High Holy Hippie
A derogatory description of Rainbows who feel they are part of a power group, entrenched hierarchy or `old guard' of the counter-cultural movement.

Hippie
Descriptive referring to 1960's countercultural lifestyle, derogatory when used by non-Rainbows, often to anachronize Rainbows. Also used among Rainbows as familiar greeting or self-descriptive.

Hipstorian
One who participates in the telling of the Hipstory.

Hipstory
Collectively told oral history of the Rainbow Family. The Rainbow Hipstory is recited each year at the North American Gathering. Anyone is free to join in the telling of the Hipstory.

Ho!
Used in Council to express agreement with the speaker. Also name of a southeastern United States Rainbow Family publication.

Hobo
Someone who lives on the road (see On the Road), has lived on the road for a while, likes living on the road and intends to keep living on the road.

Hohner
An authentic unpretentious down to earth person.

Home
At the Gathering.

Howdy Folks!
The written announcement of a Rainbow Family Gathering or event.

Hug Patrol
A group of people who wander around Gatherings hugging people.

Info Center
An area where information is exchanged. Consists of an information booth and at least one bulletin board. Information ranges from news of the outside world, time and place for workshops, maps of the Gathering site to suggestions for dealing with insects.

Katuah
Southeastern United States mountain bio-region.

Kiddie City
A camp for parents, children and expectant parents. Provides childcare, special activities and special meals for children.

Kids' Village
See Kiddie City.

Kind
Free or Nice

Kind Bud
Free marijuana.

M.A.S.H.
Sometimes used interchangeably with C.A.L.M. to refer to the medical unit.

Magic Bedpan
Money collection for the CALM medical facility.

Magic Hat
Money collection for the common coffers. Usually used to fund Main Supply.

Main Circle
Usually a central area where the Council meets and where the July 4th (for North American Gatherings, dates differ for regionals) meditation and prayer celebration occurs. A dinner, prepared by many different kitchens and carried over in five or six gallon buckets, is also usually served here.

Main Supply
Distribution center for kitchen supplies.

Main Trail
The central, most heavily traveled trail at a Gathering.

Mainebow
Maine Regional Rainbow Gathering.

Meat
Specialty at Taco Mike's kitchen. Formally a living animal - not necessarily a cow, pig or chicken - now food.

Movie
The spectacle transpiring in front of you at any giving time. Often refers to ridiculous antics. Most popular movies: `The Gate Movie,' `The "A" Camp Movie' and `The Cop Movie.'

Mud
Rainbow Coffee. Often made `Field Style' with grounds in the bottom of the pot. A splash of cold water before serving helps sink any floating grounds. Grounds often get reincarnated for future pots.

NERF
North East (North America) Rainbow Family; formerly, New England Rainbow Family.

Newage
Rhymes with "sewage." Derogatory description of a New Ager.

Om
The sacred syllable A+U+M, pronounced "ome" as in "home" or "holy" in the Rig Veda (e.g., the hymn to Siva [Chan, Ismail Ragi and Raju 1969: 25, 29n79; see also ibid., 35]). 2) One of the most important mantras in Tantric (Tibetan) Buddhism [e.g., Evans-Wentz 1960; 1967: 127, 301, 312, 320n2, 340], in which "when the disciple's mind id properly attuned, the inner vibrations of this word symbol together with its associations in the consciousness of the initiate ... open his mind to higher dimensions" [Kapleau 1966: 346]. 3) This Tantric sense, perhaps via the translations of Evans-Wendt's work which occurred in the 1960's, seems to inform Rainbow usage, in which it becomes a somewhat desacralized pacifying syllable that people chant, typically, before meals, after Councils, during meditations and prayers, in order to "harmonize" vibrations." The exact route from Tibet to Rainbow is obscure, however, since North Americans tend to lump all "Eastern religions" together in practice [e.g., D. 1966: 261].

Om Circle
A circle of people chanting `Om,' usually to harmonize an up-tight situation, sometimes used for coercive purposes.

Oming
Chanting `Om.'

On the Land
At the site of the Gathering.

On the Road
Pertaining to a lifestyle whose adherents are on an extended trip or have no permanent home.

Pothibition
Refers to anti-marijuana laws.

Process
Any social-political activity with a goal; e.g., with the word `Council,' to describe the mechanism by which the Council reaches decisions.

Rail Tramp
See Tramp.

Rainbow Dark
Sundown or thereabouts. Vision Council rules require proceedings to cease at Rainbow Dark.

Rainbow Noon
Roughly, when the sun is high in the sky, usually between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. depending on season, location and mood of those who need to know when it's Rainbow Noon.

Rainbow Runs
Diarrhea contracted at Gatherings, usually attributed to change in diet or water as well as soapy dishes.

Rainbow Time
A system of keeping time without watches. Rainbow Time is whenever enough people think it is whatever time it is supposed to be. Rainbow Time usually runs about an hour behind clock time, but may be as much as an hour early.

Rainbow Trail
An extended trip, taking in numerous Gatherings.

Rainbozo
A cross between a blissninny and a High Holy Rainbow, usually loud and obnoxious. Often used by "political" Rainbows to describe "spiritual" ones.

Rap 107
A written or oral introduction to the infrastructure of the Rainbow Gathering.

Rap 107 Below
A written or oral introduction to the infrastructure of a Winter Rainbow Gathering. Developed by the Great Lakes regional Rainbow Family

Rap 115
A written or oral request asking people to treat bothersome drunks at Gatherings with love, not anger. Often described as the "flip side" to Rap 151

Rap 151
A written or oral diatribe explaining why alcohol is discouraged at Gatherings; promotes benefits of an alcohol-free space.

Rap 701
A written or oral guide to the etiquette of cleaning up after a Rainbow Gathering.

Rap 911
A written or oral reminder to travelers coming to or leaving U.S. Gatherings about their rights in regards to searches of vehicles by the police. Also advises travelers to caravan as protection against police harassment and to document all instances of police harassment.

Road Burn
A state of mind one slips into after being "on the road" too long, e.g., exhausted and wanting to settle down for a spell.

Road Dog
Someone who calls the Road home. c.f. Hobo, `Dog.

Road Kill
A dead animal found on the road; dead animals in general. See Meat.

Rumor Control
The act of containing run-away rumors within the Rainbow Family; `Info Center.'

Runner
Someone who delivers messages, supplies or food between two points at a Gathering.

Scam
A plan, sometimes dishonest, for getting something for less than its value.

Scattering Time
when most people are leaving the Gathering and dispersing.

Score
To obtain something by purchase, trade or chance.

Shanti Sena
Peacekeeper. Also group that considers themselves "leaders."

Shitter
A Rainbow Latrine.

Shuttle
A vehicle used to move Rainbows back and forth from the parking area to the trailhead into the Gathering.

Sisters' Circle
A place where women council together.

Sisters' Meadow
A meadow reserved exclusively for women.

Sisters' Space
An area reserved exclusively for women.

Six Up
Slang for gun. A Nevada Forest Ranger noted that he heard Rainbows say "Six Up" when he entered a camp [Howard 1989]. Chris Malanka, a Park Ranger, wrote, after the Nevada report was issued, that "Six Up" is a Rainbow warning that officials are coming [Malanka 3/15/90]. Although Rainbows don't use the term, Malanka shouted it whenever approaching a camp [Ho! Summer 1990].

Snifting
Looking to meet someone, primarily for sex. Most snifters are men looking for women.

Styling
Nice

The Feather
A feather or other focal object, passed around a council circle to identify the person who is speaking.

The Guide
A printed directory of Rainbow Family members. Also known as The Rainbow Guide.

Tour
Grateful Dead band tour.

Trade Circle
Same as `Barter Lane,' only a circle.

Tramp
Hobo or Road Dog, who hops trains.

Up-Tight
Frustrated, neurotic.

Vibe (n)
A non-verbal signal or feeling. Also can be used to describe a mood.

Vibe (v)
To emit a non-verbal or feeling signal to someone else (from yoga; e.g., [Evans-Wendt 1967]).

Vibeswatcher
A person who has been chosen by the Council to monitor the Council mood. If the mood is becoming argumentative or in any other way non-conducive to a healthy Council, the vibeswatcher momentarily interrupts council for a breather, an Om, a stretch, jumping jacks or the like.

Vision
A picture of how things should, could or will be.

Vision Council
The Council which chooses the general area (state, country, or region) for the following year's Gathering. Also discusses direction and goals of Rainbow Family.

Wahwah
A tasty morsel of food, easy to eat but not a meal; also not too sweet (From prison slang)

We Love You
Greeting, usually shouted in unison by a group of people. An unseen group elsewhere in the Gathering usually answers with another chorus of "we love you," which might be answered by yet another group.

Weekend Hippie
Someone who only participates in countercultural activities when on vacation from a job and `mainstream' lifestyle. See Yuppie.

Weekend Rainbow
Someone who only participates in Rainbow activities when on vacation from a job and `mainstream' lifestyle. See Yuppie.

Welcome Fire
A fire kept burning at the `front Gate' to welcome late-night arrivals, heat coffee for new arrivals, etc.

Welcome Home
Standard Rainbow greeting for someone who is entering the Gathering from `Babylon.'

Welcome Soup
A pot of soup which is always warm at the Front Gate for new arrivals (Quebec Rainbow tradition).

Yuppie
Someone with a job.

Zuzu
Like a wahwah, but very sweet. Usually candy or donuts. (From prison slang)


September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson